What is Vodka Cream Sauce?
You may have seen “vodka sauce,” “spicy vodka,” or “vodka cream sauce” on menus previously and thought, “What’s that? Why would anyone want vodka in their food?”
We’ll tell you why! Vodka sauce is creamy and rich. The sharpness of the vodka balances with the sweetness and acidity of the tomato. The alcohol itself evaporates out during cooking, which means it’s safe for everyone (even children) to consume. In fact, they’ll likely be begging for more! This Italian American sauce is popular in penne pasta recipes. However, there are a million different ways you can make it. We’ll give you some of our favorite recipes below.
1. Spicy Penne Alla Vodka
This is the perfect classic spicy penne alla vodka recipe. It summarizes exactly why everyone loves to make this dish for their family — it’s simple and everyone loves it! Show up to any family event with this dish, and you’ll instantly be the favorite.
The heat in this recipe is added with chili paste and cayenne pepper. If you want it to be spicier, add more chili paste!
Get the full recipe and directions here.
2. Gigi Hadid’s Spicy Vodka Pasta Veganized
Yes, that’s right. Supermodel Gigi Hadid has released her delicious spicy vodka pasta sauce recipe. However, since the recipe is far from vegan. Plant You has created a vegan version that is a lot healthier. The swaps include:
- Garlic, onions, and water instead of olive oil
- Unsweetened almond milk and coconut milk in place of cream
- Nutritional yeast in place of parmesan cheese
And while the author of the recipe used vodka, they also suggested swapping vodka for lemon juice or vinegar if you prefer.
Get the full recipe and directions here.
3. Jon and Vinny’s Spicy Fusilli Recipe
This is a beloved recipe from Bon Appetit, and it’s a great starter recipe for anyone who’s still getting comfortable in the kitchen. You’ll start by heating oil in a large skillet and then adding shallot and garlic. After that’s softened for 5 minutes, add your tomato paste and then your vodka. To evaporate all that booziness, make sure you cook the vodka for a full minute or two. Your cream and red paper flakes should come after that. Stir it until it’s well-blended and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Get the full recipe and directions on Bon Appetit.
4. Smoky & Spicy Vodka Pasta Sauce
The process for making this pasta sauce is similar to those of the above. You’ll start out by sautéing onions and garlic, add your tomato paste, stir in the vodka, then add your seasoning and cream, and all your sauce to simmer. However, the author answers two important questions. 1) What does the vodka in the recipe? 2) Why use fusilli pasta?
Firstly, the vodka helps to release more flavor from the tomatoes. If you have it, use it! Secondly, fusilli is just the right shape to capture all the flavors for this smooth sauce. Compared to a chunky sauce like a Bolognese, which couldn’t get into the crevices of fusilli, the vodka sauce cooks down perfectly.
Get the full recipe and directions on XO&SO.
5. Spicy Pesto Pasta alla Vodka
Are you ready for pasta with an intense and rich flavor profile? This recipe is different from the others on the list because it incorporates pesto. To do this, you’ll stir in the pesto at the same time that you stir in the cream. You’ll also add additional basil as garnish along with parmesan cheese.
Get the full recipe and directions on Half-Baked Harvest.
6. Spicy Alla Vodka Pizza Pasta
Have you ever dreamed about marrying your two favorite dishes: pizza and pasta? Well, we have a recipe for you! This spicy alla vodka pizza is everything you’ve hoped for and more. It’s a one-pot recipe which means it’s easy and quick. If you’re open to using alcohol in your recipes, it’s a must in this sauce! The bite of the vodka helps balance out the sweetness of the tomatoes. Once you’ve cooked out the alcohol, it’s safe to share with the whole family.
Get the full recipe and directions on Half-Based Harvest.
7. Vegan Penne Alla Vodka Sauce
Just because you’re Vegan or plant-based doesn’t mean you want to miss out on a good penne alla vodka dish! Here’s a great recipe for vegan sauce if you’ve been searching high and low. And guess what? It’s so rich and delicious that you’d never even guess that it’s dairy-free! In exchange for heavy cream, this recipe uses cashew cream. If you don’t have a high-powered blender to make your cashew cream in, then make sure you soak your cashews in warm water for at least 4 hours to soften them before blending them with a regular blender or food processor. The full recipe will give you all of the details on how to bring the full dish together!
Get the full recipe and directions on My Darling Vegan.
So now that you’ve seen a wide variety of spicy vodka pasta recipes, which one are you excited to try first?
If you like this post, we think you’ll really like our Spicy Miso Pasta recipe post.